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Low-level hardware diagnostics

Last response: in CPUs
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July 17, 2009 4:25:58 PM

Hi all. I'm looking for a good PC troubleshooting toolkit for use as a PC tech.

I've been looking at PC-Doctor, PC-Diagnostics, and UXD's Quick-Tech. I know with all the tools that come with the software (loopbacks, post cards, psu testers), they all come around $300-$400.

Does anyone have any experience with any of these packages? Which one would you guys recommend?

Thanks for any help.
July 17, 2009 4:51:32 PM

I have never gone there. I tend to think a post card might be useful. There are many free utilities available.

I tend to think this stuff is useful for diagnosing dead pc's - and sure enough it's still dead. But it is possible I just have an attitude also - nahhh, who me? :) 

Basically, I think it's a waste. Know the low level basics - from a good book. Most pc tek stuff is not going to improve with this - and you will not be the beneficiary of the investment.

Anyway - it's all my opinion.

Look up author named "Bigelow" - book about 3" thick - forget the title - it's the best of books with similar titles like "everything pc repairs tshoots hardware" etc etc. Most of the others similar titles, are lacking in real world experience and depth. This is about the low level basics. Todays pc's are still same as a 286 - with a few addons. Yes, I know there's more to it.
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July 17, 2009 10:57:31 PM

Never tried any "paying" tools, but I'm not a professional technician either. However, when I go help friends, I always carry a copy of Knoppix (any other LiveCD would do) and Ultimate Boot CD. With that, I can usually find what is wrong, but some defects cannot really be detected by software (like faulty motherboard).
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July 18, 2009 4:19:00 AM

If the PC is not even bootable, a PORT80 card will help you pin point the faulty hardware faster. The actual solving will still need to come from experience in determining which part is faulty/incompatible and preventing the PC from booting.

If the PC is bootable, Ultimate Boot CD as mentioned by Zenthar is what I normally use. I also use WinPE & BartPE bootable from USB to load a couple of other utilities I use.
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July 18, 2009 3:10:26 PM

Like others said its a waste of money. General trouble shootin will figure out what the problem is really fast, and if you have a faulty mobo, your avg customers mobo will be $40-$50 for a replacement, unless its a proprietary mobo then it will cost to much.

I have a post card, and I never ever use it.

The only tool I use religously is a PSU tester. Dont leave home without it.
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